In Situ Crystallization and Morphological Evolution in Multicomponent Indium Oxide Thin Films

Mahyar M. Moghadam, Ran Li, D. Bruce Buchholz, Qianqian Li, Peter W. Voorhees, Vinayak P. Dravid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The crystallization kinetics of Zn0.3In1.4Sn0.3O3 (ZITO-30) thin films is investigated via isothermal in situ transmission electron microscopy measurements. Extensive analysis is conducted to reveal the nucleation mechanism and growth rate at four different temperatures. The results show that the nucleation rate in this system is time-dependent and continuously decelerates following a power law decay. The crystal growth rate is constant at a given temperature, and interface-limited growth is the controlling mechanism in the kinetics of amorphous ZITO-30 crystallization. The activation energy for the overall process and interface growth are derived from the experimental data. A morphological study of the grains shows that the {100} interfaces have low mobility and are responsible for the anisotropic crystal shapes. It is found that the {111} and {100} planes of the crystal form parallel to the film-vapor interface during the nucleation process. The results demonstrate a rather complex yet tractable correlation between the experimental results and theoretical underpinning in complex multicomponent oxide thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1396-1403
Number of pages8
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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